Gillespies Bakery is the first recipient of a grant under the Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Shop Front Improvement Scheme.
The award winning traditional bakery implemented enhancements to their West Street establishment last weekend having accepted the offer of a grant earlier this month.
Gillespies has been an Epsom institution for 18 years, with a baker arriving at work each morning at 03.00, five days a week, to start that day’s bread making. Five years ago burglars smashed their way into the shop through the windows, resulting in a loss of the window signage. Owner Sam Docherty explains “We are a small, family run bakers and, to compete with the supermarkets, we have to operate on very tight margins. New signage became a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity for the business. The Council grant was very important to us, as we have been able to use the money we have been awarded, along with our own funds, to provide new signage and to improve the whole of the shop front”.
Councillor Neil Dallen, Chairman of the S&R Committee said “Gillespies Bakery is exactly the type of business, the Council is trying to encourage. They are traditional local bakers providing a renowned product with a truly exceptional service. I am really pleased that the Council has been able to assist this business with a grant under the Shop Front Improvement Scheme and I urge other local retailers to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The objective of the Shop Front Improvement Scheme is to improve business frontages including shops, commercial businesses and social enterprises in the retail hubs of Epsom, Ewell and Stoneleigh as a means of supporting the growth of local businesses, enhancing the local environment and raising the appeal of these retail centres to visitors, customers and residents. Modest grants from the Council are match funded by the applicants to improve the external appearance of their premises.
Applications are welcome, details of which can be found on the Council’s website